Tom Coronel claims Motorsport Games gold after car trouble hits rivals

Tom Coronel claimed the gold medal for the Netherlands in the Motorsport Games Touring Car Cup at Paul Ricard after drama for event dominator Gilles Magnus.

The two Comtoyou Racing drivers had been the pacesetters through the weekend, with Magnus heading practice, qualifying and winning the Qualification Race.

That put him on pole for the Main Race, which he comfortably led for just a lap before his Audi RS 3 LMS ground to a halt.

That promoted Coronel into a lead he managed through the rest of the race to claim victory, being wary not to suffer the same driveshaft issues other Comtoyou drivers had suffered during the event, improving on the fifth place he achieved in the 2019 edition of the games.

Initially Teddy Clairet was his closest rival, with Ignacio Montenegro, Jack Young and Isidro Callejas in chase.

Montenegro lost positions in successive laps to drop to fifth, but he gained back a place once Young hunted down Clairet. On lap seven of 15 there was contact between the two drivers battling for second place at the chicane on the Mistral straight, and they ran side-by-side all the way to Signes.

Young had the inside line there and got through into second place, with Clairet running wide and letting Callejas through too. After a few laps Clairet then started to slow down and he had to end his race in the pits.

The contact between Clairet and Young was investigated and the latter was issued a five-second penalty, making Coronel’s job easier up front.

Young tried to pull away but could not create enough of a gap to hold on to second place, meaning Callejas earned the silver medal for Spain and Young was classified 1.221s behind and receiving the bronze medal for Ireland.

Argentina’s Montenegro finished fourth, with Latvia’s Valters Zviedris a lonely fifth and Sweden’s Andrea Bäckman sixth after a pass late in the race on Hong Kong’s Andy Yan who avoided a penalty once he was shown the black-and-white flag for track limits abuse.

There was a big battle for eighth which ended when bodywork started rubbing against the front-right tyre of Brazil’s Raphael Reis and he had to retire with a lap to go.

That gave the UK’s Chris Smiley a bit of breathing room in eighth over Canada’s Travis Hill and Venezuela’s Sergio Lopez who also flagged for track limits.